It is anticipated that the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to impact research planning throughout the first half of 2021, and possibly beyond. How can students ensure that their projects stay on track against the backdrop of change and uncertainty? What skillset will enable them to remain positive, flexible, and productive?
While training in digital and innovative research methods is key to facilitating pandemic research adaptations, we recognize that methodological research decisions are only one part of the big picture. Students have had to adapt to working in changing workplaces, cope with isolation and remote working, and adapt their research by changing their target populations, research designs, or even research questions. Knowing when and how to deploy research adaptations, who to contact for guidance, or how to overcome unexpected events requires students to apply certain soft skills which can be referred to, broadly, as ‘adaptability skills’.
This training will equip students with such adaptability skills. To do so, it will introduce three types of adaptability skills – risk management skills, resilience skills, and problem-solving skills – and will consider how they can be applied in practice via the presentation and discussion of real-world research adaptation case studies.
Students will have a chance to think about their own research adaptations and discuss these with attendees and organisers. They will come out of the training with a more confident and positive outlook on research adaptations and a better understanding of the meanings and practical applications of adaptability skills.